We are almost at the end of the year 2018. For education sector, this year has been full of technological leaps. With technology playing defining role, even now schools are allowing students to carry their digital handheld devices such as smartphones, tablets (without the power of their individual network of the internet) and laptops for leveraging the online and digital incorporation of their research into their regular pen and paper study. Students are also using the lethal combo of the devices and internet for completing their online assignments, in real time.
Let’s now rewind the 2018 story and predict the future trends for the education sector for the year 2019-the year as we normally expect is going to witness more changes as similar or greater as it witnessed in 2018 or earlier.
The year 2018 – The learning
The story of 2018 circulates around quadruple of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), the combined front of Cybersecurity and Data Privacy, and that of Improved Accessibility Via Learning Technology.
The Front of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
From Siri to Alexa, the personal voice assistants made their presence felt more increasingly in 2018. From incorporating shortcuts to giving way to the individual apps to include the functionalities like opening a particular website that a user visits a number of times, searching a family member through the tasks like Find My Friends, to the walk-ins of the latest variants of Amazon’s Alexa, 2018 saw it all. Seeing the capacities of these assistants, one very much expects the arrival and applications of them and the brain behind them- Artificial Intelligence, in the classrooms. From facilitating communication between students and teachers to providing useful insights into students’ learning to extending help to the teachers with grading, AI offers scopes to change the process of learning. Hence, by undertaking time-devouring tasks that are repetitive in nature, AI generates more time for you, for more phenomenal study.
The Front of Augmented Reality (AR)
Visualize children entering the Taj Mahal and thus appreciating its beauty from the comforts of their classrooms! Or, for this matter, imagine a dinosaur jumping upon different spots in the classroom without hurting the school property or hurting children!
2018 was witness to all this and the credit unarguably goes to the power of AR. With hopes soaring high for the coming time, AR has many promises to fulfill.
Data Privacy and Cybersecurity
With technologies of AI and ML (Machine Learning) fusing with the learning of the students, the banking and finance sectors, and others, the experts expect the generation of huge data. Consequently, the concern of cybersecurity assumes phenomenally alarming proportions. Hence, the issue of cybersecurity blew its trumpet loud in 2018. For instance, the security of 32 million records on education was breached only in the first half of 2017. This equated to nearly 13% of data violations, overall.
Improved Accessibility via Learning Technology
As far as this sphere is concerned, the physically handicap students had much to cheer in 2018, or 2017 as well. There have been various dictation software, audiobooks, and apps facilitating reading for the hearing and visually impaired students and for those suffering from ills like dyslexia. Devices, like Amazon’s Echo, Apple’s Siri and Google Home powered with the efficiency of AI and which have been mentioned above, facilitated a world of improved changes particularly more for such handicaps, in the year 2018.
Expectation from 2019
The Expectations, First
Almost all the spheres talked above will go through more sensory and therefore, meaningful developments from 2019 onwards. For instance, the gamification of learning through the technologies will be felt more impactfully. This will demand changes in the curriculum regarding E-learning, in turn. Moreover, increasing embraces of the latest technologies is expected on the part of educational institutions. Example, like that of a school in São Paulo facilitating understanding of the concept of AI with a partnership with the IBM, have fuelled the chances for 2019.
Integration of various software platforms like those for sharing documents, managing learning, and facilitating video conferencing will progress further, similarly, in 2019. One will be witness to the wider spread of similar promising potential via the educational robots having telepresence for any corner of the world.
Lastly, the educational institutions more open to their data-driven adaptability are expected to score more to ensure their evolutionary existence, in 2019. As a result, the teachers and the pupils, both will be focussing more, on what they are exactly hoped to do. The teachers will be able to teach better focussing on the formulation and implementation of strategies for the removal of academic weaknesses in students. Similarly, students, having apprised of their kinds and spheres of shortcomings, will be able to work more for their uproot.
The path to the growth of the technologies of AI, ML, and AR, is ridden with the pits of challenges, particularly in their initial stage.
Access to quality digital learning materials, inflating levels of motivation in students, spreading management systems that aid in the betterment of learning indicators, communication with parents and students, for example, are some of the challenges that the AI and ML enabled machines will still need to take up and find solutions to. There is much to grow in this section.
Identically, to focus more on a fault-proof amalgamation of video and audio content irrespective of the bandwidth of the spectrum, the break less upgrade and improvement of the human to machine and the vice-versa interactions to result in prediction of a student’s spheres of learning in which he/she is more interested in or is capable of, will be the resistances facing and waiting to be solved by the trio of the latest technologies of AI, ML, and AR (or, VR- virtual reality).
Key Trends Impacting the Sphere of Education in 2019
Initiation of the Movement in 5G
2018 saw the technology of 5G in the fixed phones. 2019 will witness it moving through their cellular versions. Hence, this would translate to the transition of other hand-held devices like tablets and laptops, into the new G. The sector of education will invariably benefit from it when its stakeholders will have access to a quite fast internet and hosting of bigger educational applications on these devices of their own.
Autonomous things like autonomous vehicles and robots, particularly, will impact the education sector. About the robots enabled with augmented reality, much has been said. The autonomous vehicles will exactly equate to the AI-enabled and driverless moving of the motorized vehicles carrying students to and from their college. The vehicles will be driven by AI-driven computers, instead of humans, resulting in a more disciplined traffic. This will further result in students’ early arrival to their destinations.
This refined form of data analytics done via the computers powered with ML and AI will be used to provide the reformed outcome of the data pertaining to topics and spheres of interests of students’ studies. Thus, to demarcate the weaknesses and strengths of students for their studies will be nearly crystal clear.
Immersive User Experience via the Mix of VR and AR
As discussed above, the science and art of making students witness marvels like dissecting an animal for their study purposes with no cuts and bruises to that virtual creature, transporting a virtual monument (Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower etc.) to their classrooms, etc. will be gaining more momentum.
The Marvel of Blockchain
The concept of the blockchain, the idea that facilitates online ledgers of virtual registers, quite effectively can be implemented in the sphere of documentation of students’ records and scores. With a provision of having the reigns of this ledger, in the hands of an administrator at one end (school’s principal, for example), the facility of viewing them can be leveraged, on the other (on the student’s end, when he/she would want to view the record/scores).
The author is CEO, EduGorilla